Thursday, December 27, 2012

Homemade Christmas

I had to wait until after Christmas to share some of these with now I am excited to finally post my homemade Christmas gifts.

First of all, it was long past time for these to be done.  I was hoping to finish them in the fall but after I finished the first one (Ben's) I took a long break.  As we neared December I decided to give them to the kids as Christmas gifts.  I cut it close but I finished them and the kids are thrilled to finally have their memories of Disneyland recorded in a book for them to relive whenever they want.

Next, Abby was in desperate need of a larger scripture bag.  I found a cute (and free!) pattern on Pinterest and went shopping for some fun fabric.  I went to several fabric stores to find just the right thing and it wasn't to be found.  Finally, I was in Hobby Lobby for something else and decided to check out their fabric.  Isn't this owl duck cloth adorable?  and I found some pink, super light corduroy to go with it.
I was hesitant to start a new pattern and so I kept putting it off.  The week before Christmas I delved in and found the pattern very easy to follow.
I actually scaled the pattern down to 75% so it would be better fit for a young girl.  I was so proud of myself for figuring out all the calculations for pieces that didn't have a pattern.  I love how it turned out...except that I didn't put the pockets and pencil holders low enough in the bag...I can't decide if I want to unpick and redo them.

Here's a jumble of other handmade items.
I found a couple of old frames at the D.I. and spray painted them.  I bought some chicken wire at Lowe's and hoped that a hot glue gun would do the trick of attaching the wire to the did!  I was so excited.  Then I made some scrapbook paper covered clothespins to go with it. 
The red and white star is what I came up with for an ornament exchange that I was invited to attend.  It is loosely based off of a pin on Pinterest but I ended up doing it quite a bit differently than I had originally planned.  It's two pieces of fabric with some stuffing in the middle and a burlap layer on top.  I stamped the word  "joy" on the burlap and added a safety pin with small beads and a bell.  They were fun.  The ornaments that I received from the exchange are in the bottom right corner picture.  They are all beautiful...the other women did an amazing job!
The silver and blue snowflakes are what I did for our neighbor gifts this year.  Again, inspired by Pinterest but added my own touches.  They didn't turn out quite like I had envisioned them but that's one has to know that...except I just told you...
Anyway, for gifts for teachers and bus drivers etc...I saw a cute idea on Pinterest where a woman stuffed some knit gloves with fun little pampering items.  The note to go with it said something about "helping hands"...perfect for teachers, especially Ben's.  I did have two males that fit into this catergory and I struggled with what to do...finally just gave them fun treats.
The center picture is part of a girls' "favorite things" gathering that we're doing for the first time with Andy's side of the family.  (It was supposed to have happened already but our trip was delayed due to illness.  More on that later).  I filled the jars with gingerbread syrup and attached a copy cat recipe for Red Robin's gingerbread milkshake.  Quick story behind that...a couple of years ago when Andy and Ben and I were frequenting Primary Children's Medical Center in December I made a discovery.  There was a Red Robin along the way and we stopped in to get something to eat.  I saw a gingerbread milkshake on the menu and about died and went to heaven.  Shakes are definitely one of my top favorite treats of all time and to add the festive flavor of gingerbread put me over the top. 
I had to figure out how to make one at home. I found a gingerbread syrup recipe online and added milk, ice cream and gingerbread (or graham cracker) crumbs and it turned out great!

These are the other part of my "favorite things" gift.  While looking for an ornament to make for the exchange, I came across these on Pinterest and thought they were gorgeous!  I clicked on the tutorial thinking that it would probably be way too hard but I wanted to know how it was done.  They are actually quite simple...just folding and pinning but they are time consuming.  I kind of got obsessed though and bought a ton of styrofoam balls and a couple thousand pins and got to work.  I made some for family and close friends who are quilters and then these last 6 (upper left) for our girls' gathering.
They are seriously fun, easy, relaxing, something you can do just sitting and watching t.v. and the final product is fingers did get sore from pushing all the pins in though so make sure you have a thimble on hand...literally :)

There's a summary of all the gifts I made this year.  Every year I tell myself I'm going to start early so I won't be stressed in December but it never happens.  We'll see if I can make it happen in 2013!


  1. Wow, Aimee, when did you find time to do all this?
    I love my "quilted" ornament--sorry about your sore fingers. : )
    I didn't realize you hadn't already made a Disney book for everyone. I had enjoyed looking at Ben's with him and just assumed each child had one. What a wonderful memory book of a special time!
    I'm going to start in January this year and make things each month--at least that is my plan right now.

  2. oops--forgot to say, Abby's bag is very cute. Good job!

  3. Aimee, I think you should hold your mom to that vow of making something each month. :)

  4. I love your homemade gifts. We try to make gifts for everyone. I got a few made, but not quite as many as I wanted. And that ball that you made is exquisite!!! Great job!